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Flies – Exterminating the housefly

Sheild - Pest Control Systems
Exterminating the housefly (Musca domestica) in human and animal surroundings

Gal Cohen – Expert pest control consultant

The housefly is a flying insect which acts as a vector (carrier) of many diseases, and is abundant mostly around farms, and in surroundings rich with moist organic materials.

The female lays her white elongated eggs in batches of 100-150 directly on the larvae’s food, or close by. Eggs are also laid in open drains and running sewers. A female can lay 1,000-1,500 eggs in her lifetime.

The housefly needs high temperatures to breed and the female usually lays the eggs in bird droppings, sludge, animal excrements, and areas where moist organic waste is collected.

Larvae hatch from the eggs, which eventually develop into adult flies.

The larvae develop primarily in garbage dumps, cow and horse dung, and human and other animal feces.

Its lifecycle span relies on various factors, and mainly on the temperature. In optimal conditions, it’s evolution, from egg to adult fly, takes seven days. The average life span is one to three weeks, depending on surrounding conditions.

Flies feed on liquid or semi-liquid substances, but are capable of scraping and dissolving solid foods like sugar crystals.

Disease agents are transmitted to the person’s food or body by the fly’s contact, vomitus, and feces.

At any given time during the hot season, breeding processes of early-stage flies (eggs and larvae) constitute about 80% of the overall housefly population in any given area. Only about 20% develop into adult flies which constantly harass human beings and animals, and endanger their health.

Therefore, as part of the pest control process, it is best to begin first and foremost with prevention treatment against the development of larvae into flies, and only after that, exterminate the adult flies which infest the area.

It should be noted, that it is easier to discover the location of the larvae and exterminate them effectively, than attract the adult flies and/or exterminate them.

Recommendations for effective pest control methods:

Animal surroundings:

  1. In order to control and exterminate the fly population in animal surroundings (usually the primary source of flies), strict interface conditions must be kept. All sources of the flies breeding grounds, such as bird droppings and secretions in farms (barns, stables, etc.) must be dried up. Flies will not breed if they are unable to find an environment with wet organic material. In addition, it is best to combine treatment against larvae development by using IGR substances, such as “Control” (spraying larvae concentrations) or scattering grains in infested areas.
  • To exterminate adult flies, it is best to spray in stains (of about half a square meter) substances such as Master Fly combined with water and sugar on top of unabsorbing surfaces like plastic, metal, and on vegetation. These substances act as an extermination platform with a relatively large surface area, and are active for up to 14 days.
  • Other insecticides can also be used to spray the area infested with adult flies, but be aware that this way will downsize the adult fly population and bring substantial relief for only a few hours to a few days. (relatively short action span).

The toxicity of these substances for humans and animals is low and they are effective and safe for use.

Another option recommended for exterminating adult flies, is spreading reusable and disposable baits to supplement the treatment (definitely not as the only solution).

Human surroundings (home yards, porches, and outside restaurants or garbage rooms)

  1. In these areas, it’s necessary to start by pinpointing the flies’ breeding grounds (farms in the vicinity, dumpsters where wet organic material is collected, areas with pigeon droppings, etc.), and spray them in order to stop the flies from breeding.
  • Adult insecticides should be used as well, to act as baits with a large surface area, and an action span of 2 weeks. (Master Fly, Fly Off). These substances must be applied more than two meters away from people’s designated seating areas, in order to attract the flies away from people and exterminate them without interference. The substances can be applied on garden vegetation, on plastic and/or metal surfaces (fences, windowsills, and more). Applying the substances on absorbing surfaces such as wood and/or stone, will shorten the product’s action span to one week.
  • Baits for capturing adult flies can be hung as a supplementary measure around the infested area (outside the house only), but we do not recommend using traps as the only course of treatment against adult flies.

Please remember that an appropriate and integrated treatment can definitely control the fly population in the summer, but should not be expected to eliminate the infestation completely. A desired outcome will prevent the transfer of diseases and enable a good quality of life around the yard and outside the house.

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